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Lilly, Blue Jays snap Tigers' four-game winning streak

Sep 28, 2006 - 3:18 AM DETROIT (Ticker) -- The final score was not the only thing that had the Detroit Tigers frowning.

Ted Lilly pitched six strong innings and Bengie Molina hit the first of four homers for the Toronto Blue Jays in a 7-4 victory over the Tigers, who had their four-game winning streak stopped.

Detroit (95-63) fell one game behind the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League and home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. Despite the loss, the Tigers remained one game ahead of Minnesota atop the AL Central Division.

"It's going to go down to the wire," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Just like we knew it would. It's hard to win games in this league. We both found that out (Wednesday). We'd like to win the division, but getting ready for the postseason is the most important part."

Lilly (15-13) allowed three runs - one earned - and five hits in winning for the fourth time in five starts. The lefthander struck out nine without a walk to improve to 2-3 lifetime against Detroit. He has 21 strikeouts in two meetings vs. the Tigers this season.

"I was able to throw strikes," Lilly said. "I made good pitches when I needed to. It was nice to finish on a good note, but I sure wish that I could be pitching in October."

Toronto's offense wasted little time jumping on Detroit starter Nate Robertson (13-13). Molina launched his 19th homer - a three-run blast - and Greg Zaun belted his 12th homer in the fourth to make it 4-0.

"I was having a tough time getting my fastball inside," Robertson said. "And that team can hit a little. You don't get away with leaving it over the plate against their big guys. I felt good, but I just couldn't put my fastball where I wanted it."

In the fifth, Troy Glaus hit his 37th homer and Aaron Hill added a solo shot of his own to chase Robertson, who gave up six runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"His (Robertson's) velocity was good and his breaking ball was working," Glaus said. "He got a pitch up to me and I was able to hit it out."

Ivan Rodriguez, Placido Polanco and Craig Monroe all homered for the Tigers, whose magic number to clinch the division is now three.

"We can't be happy when they (Minnesota) lose," Monroe said. "We've got to win games. They didn't do what they were supposed to do, but neither did we."






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